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Protecting Our Children: Video extras 1 - 3

Updated Thursday, 16th February 2012

 Coping with heavy caseloads, maintaining a balanced approach to work, and the importance of keeping good records.

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Cassie: Umm… My caseload’s quite high at the moment, um but that’s just due to, I mean it’s all down to luck really. You know, as you know like we pick up our cases when we’re on the duty desk and when we do the initial visit.

So often you know, you just get what comes up at that particular time, and at the moment I have had quite a lot of cases that have warranted sort of long term, well you know, well monitoring really for a couple of months so, I have ended up with quite a high case load in terms of monitoring a lot and not being able to close.

Off-camera voice: What’s your case load number?

Cassie: Its 29 today. Umm… but I did have supervision earlier today and I have discussed with my manager like a few that I, I’m able to now close. Umm… and also, my manager has said to me today that he’s aware that it’s quite high for the minute and that, um… he’s going to ensure that I don’t get overloaded and so doesn’t give me too much ‘till I have been able to clear a few, so that’s a bit of relief to be honest.

Work balance

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Cassie: As a social worker need to, which is hard to do, you need to learn to be able to recognise when you’re stressed and when things are creeping over into your own life and to be able to, to say to your manager, actually this is becoming quite difficult and to say no, enough’s enough now I’m, I’m not gonna stay up ‘til whatever time doing case notes tonight cos I need a break and you need to look after yourself.

Um, but it is about having a manager who recognises when you’re getting to that point and also I think as a newly qualified social worker there was I think myself, I had this expectation of, I need to have done everything, I need to have resolve everything and, and actually you never are completely on top of absolutely everything and, and you never, you can never solve everything and, and you can’t control people and, and people when you’re not there are gonna, you know the families you work with when you’re at home are gonna do what they, even if you’ve told them not to do something they will do it and you can’t control that and I think when you, become at ease with that yourself and you recognise that, you can take a lot of pressure off yourself thinking, I’ve done everything I can do to possibly make this situation safe and now I’m going to have to go home and whatever happens, happens but I’ve, and just relax in the fact that you’ve done everything you possibly can.

Child records

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Cassie: It is really important, especially for example of children who are placed in care and they’ve got a right to look at their files and look back at the decisions that were made about their lives. And if we don’t document that, that is a huge chunk of their lives that they maybe don’t ever, they can’t come to terms with because they won’t ever understand why decisions were made.

You know that they couldn’t go back to the family or why. And I think that its important for children to be at you know, when they grow up and they decide they want to read their files, I think it could probably be a huge part of them coming to terms with their life and it should be there, it’s really important.

And also, if they’re not given a good service as well that they should be able to challenge that and we should be able to you know, we offer a service and we should be doing what we, what we’re paid to do.

I think it’s important and that we’re able to evidence what we have done, we have done those things so, but at the same time, when you’re on the other end trying to do all of that it is really frustrating because, you do spend a lot of time at a computer and I think it’s, it’s quite, I think it would be quite a difficult job to, to sometimes know what to cut out.

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